I flew overseas for the first time, on a whim, last July in my midsession break. I had originally planned to use my University break to go on a South Pacific cruise – circumstances prevented this travel plan from occurring and I found myself sitting at home, bored, for six weeks. The first week past and I enjoyed my freedom with no pressure to study and an abundance of ‘me time’ available. I picked up extra shifts at work and established a bit of a routine, but by week 3 I’d noticed that a large number of my Facebook friends (some close mates, others mere acquaintances) appeared to be out of the country. I cursed myself for being at home watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy and drinking too much vodka diet-coke on my nights off, while so many people explored the world.
I decided I wasn’t going to waste my whole break, I only had three weeks left to do something, so I jumped online, researched ‘Contiki’ (having heard it is a great travel option for young people travelling alone) and found one that left the next week. I would return a few days into my new semester, but I knew I could catch up on a couple of missed lectures; it was too good to be true. I booked and paid for my trip the next day and flew out of Australia within the week.
My little European adventure was everything that I expected and more, but it wasn’t enough. Once I had a taste of travel I knew I had to go back, if not to Europe, anywhere else in the world that I could explore. Within the first few weeks of that semester I had done my research and booked and paid for another European holiday… in my next midsession break (June this year). I am fortunate enough that having worked and saved hard for the last seven years this wasn’t a difficult task, but one of the biggest challenges I could see for most travellers in my demographic would be finding the time to do so.
Many of my peers chose to take time off before attending University to conquer their desires to see the world, others I know are holding out until they’ve finished their degree. For a lot of my own friends, and myself, it has been convenient to use our breaks (midsession or over Christmas, January, February) to fly away to somewhere we don’t call home and make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
I am interested to know what other students find the most suitable time to travel: before, during, or after their study. Hence I pose the question for my research proposal ‘Do students prefer to travel before, during or after their University studies?’
‘The Uni Pod’, a British website that aims to help University students make various life decisions looked into this issue of when the best time to travel is – in a blog post titled “Travelling – before, during or after University?” This provided some preliminary information regarding student decisions and also reminded me that many students can travel during University without doing so on their break, thanks to exchange programs.
I intend to undertake this project through researching various articles published on travel sites, as well as blog and forum posts, similar to that on The Uni Pod site. This secondary research will be accompanied by my conduction of primary research, investigating and surveying students of UOW. Questions I will pose to students in my survey will include:
- Did you come straight to University out of High School?
- If no, did you travel before attending University?
- Have you travelled at any point during your studies?
- If no, do you intend to?
- If yes, did you do so on your uni breaks or did you go on exchange?
- Do you intend to travel at the commencement of your study?
- If yes, will you do so before or after seeking full-time employment?
- If you have not travelled, what have been the main factors affecting you doing so?
- I am not interested in travelling
- I do not have enough money to travel
- I have not had enough time off from work/study to do so
- I have plans to but have not organized when yet
These are just a small sample of the types of questions I will use in my full survey. Once I have combined my findings from this with relevant examples and other information gathered through online research I should be able to find an answer, or perhaps a variety of answers to my question: ‘Do students prefer to travel before, during or after their University studies?’
Looker, Lois. “Travelling – Before, During Or After University?”. The Uni Pod. N.p., 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
Maito, Mike. “6 Reasons Why Students Should Travel”. The Chronicles of Wanderlust. N.p., 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
Rodriguez, Kay. “Why Student Travel Is More Important Than Ever Before”. Huffpost Travel. N.p., 2013. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.
Jerrard, Meg. “The Best Way To Juggle International Travel While Studying Full Time”. Mapping Megan. N.p., 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2016.